A Winter Weekend with Pere Marquette 1225: My Perspective

On December 15 & 16, I was lucky enough to pay a visit to the amazing folks at the Steam Railroading Institute, located in Owosso, MI. Even though I did not ride, the 1225 put on a great show, so chasing the train suited me just fine. On Saturday morning, after taking in the initial beauty of the locomotive, I joined a good friend of mine, and shot the locomotive at locations such as Michigan Avenue, Robbins Furniture Company, King Road, and more. Upon arrival in Ashley, I met another friend I haven't seen in quite some time, so we chatted and caught up over some hot chocolate. We then parted ways with plans to chase the 5pm run together. I had some downtime between runs, I grabbed a bite to eat and got some rest before heading out.

After meeting my friend by the locomotive, we set out for our first shot, near the Woodard Furniture building. The light was slipping farther and farther away as the locomotive slipped into view. As usual, I started releasing the shutter like a madman. Since the light was nearly gone, we opted to try and get some silhouette shots, and ultimately found success at two locations, which were found at the spur of the moment. Seeing the locomotive coming into Ashley at night with the music, lights, and cold was nearly a religious experience, and this

1225 thunders Past Robbins Furniture Co. with a full head of steam.

event alone put me into the Christmas spirit. In search of some little things to photograph, I hit the jackpot. Sitting next to the Pere Marquette caboose that was right behind the steamer was an authentic Pere Marquette lantern, and better yet, it was burning! Since my friend and I were starting to build an appetite, we opted to join my family and have dinner at the Wrought Iron Grill. I have never been to Owosso before, so I was extremely impressed by the food, service, and the beauty of the large building. Feeling refreshed once again, my friend and I had gained special access to photograph 1225 as it was getting put away for the night.

Come Sunday morning, I decided to go solo, and once I noticed the fog, I knew I was going to have a good set of shots. My first stop was Michigan Avenue, since I wanted to redo the shot with the fog hanging in the air. I accidentally caught the train at Robbins again while en route to my final location for the weekend: Carland elevator. Luckily, the eerie fog was still in the air as the big Berkshire made her presence known tore past the large group of railfans on scene. The stack talk could be heard for three minutes before a headlight could be seen. With the train's passing, my experience with 1225 had ended, for now. I would like to thank the gracious hosts at SRI for their amazing hospitality, and they went well above and beyond my expectations, and I came home with many excellent images that I look forward to sharing with our wonderful readers and subscribers. I highly recommend riding and photographing the 1225, if you get the chance. You won't regret it.

Click HERE to view my photos of this stunning trip!

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